The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has, via a spokesperson,  indicated his displeasure at the public spat between senior executives involved in the Russian space programme and noted the damage it could do to Russia’s space industry.  This was after the head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, used a media interview with Izvestia to refute media allegations that his recently incurred minor head injuries were sustained either in a drunken fall or brawl at a party, and his critics had called for his resignation.

Popovkin fired back in this Izvestia interview after deputy head of Russian Space Systems, Ivan Golub, posted an open letter on the Russian Space Systems website calling on Popovkin to resign after accusing him of poor management, and of mounting “illegal audits”.  In the interview Popovkin noted that the media reports and allegations had been promulgated to discredit him while he attempted to make reforms to increase financial transparency and counter corruption in the Russian space industry.

Popovkin’s press secretary, Anna Vedishcheva, had previously noted that the reports of drunkenness and fighting were part of a “media provocation” against her boss.  The former glamour model turned press secretary was not a disinterested party.   It had been reported that it was over her that the alleged office party fight took place.